VATICAN CITY — Within the first year of his election as Successor of St. Peter, Pope John Paul II made his first apostolic visit to the United States. The seven-day, six-city journey took him to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Des Moines, Chicago, and Washington, D.C..
While visiting Chicago on October 4, 1979, John Paul II addressed clergy, religious, and laity gathered in Holy Name Cathedral. With charm, piety, and a deep slavic voice, the Polish pope invited all those present to pray the Our Father, stipulating that they would sing in Latin.
As we remember his passing 12 years ago, we offer our readers this charming and beautiful video.
The Holy Name of Jesus
At the heart of Pope John Paul II’s charisma and charm was his deep love for the Lord and his total entrustment to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Before inviting everyone to pray the Pater Noster, Pope John Paul II addressed those gathered in the cathedral, saying:
“Today I wish to celebrate with you the great mystery expressed in the title of your Cathedral: the Holy Name of Jesus, Son of God and Son of Mary.
I have come to you to speak of salvation in Jesus Christ. I have come to proclaim it anew: to proclaim this message to you and with you and for you—and for all the people. As Successor of the Apostle Peter speaking in the Holy Spirit, I too proclaim: “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given by which we must be saved” (Acts 4 :12).
It is in the name of Jesus that I come to you. Our service to the needy of the world is exercised in the name of Jesus. Repentance and the forgiveness of sins are preached in his name (cf. Lk 24:27). And through faith, all of us have “life in his name” (Jn. 20 :31).
In this name—in the holy name of Jesus—there is help for the living, consolation for the dying, and joy and hope for the whole world.
[…] Let us do everything “in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Col 3 :17).
May the words which I address to you on my arrival here—coming from him who is called to be servant of the servants of God—be for all of Chicago, the authorities and the people, an expression of my fraternal solidarity. How greatly I would like to meet each one of you personally, to visit you in your homes, to walk your streets so that I may better understand the richness of your personalities and the depth of your aspirations. May my words to you be an encouragement for all those who strive to bring to your community a sense of brotherhood, dignity, and unity. For in coming here I want to show my respect — beyond the limit of the Catholic faith, even beyond all religion — for man, for the humanity that is in every human being. The Christ, whom I unworthily represent, taught me to do this. I must obey his command of fraternal love. And I do it with great joy.
May God uplift humanity in this great City of Chicago!